The Chicano Moratorium was an anti-war movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s that became a significant moment in the fight for civil rights. Chicano activists organized demonstrations to oppose the Vietnam War, and raise awareness about the disproportionate number of Mexican Americans being drafted and killed in the war. One of the most pivotal marches in this movement took place on August 29, 1970 in East Los Angeles, starting in Belvedere Park and ending in Laguna Park (now Ruben F. Salazar Park), with tens of thousands of participants from around the nation. The peaceful, non-violent event was later broken up by local police with tear gas, resulting in violence and deaths, including that of LA Times journalist Ruben Salazar, whose writings had been bringing awareness to the issues impacting the Chicano community. The tragic events of that day became a turning point for the Chicano Rights Movement, galvanizing and strengthening the community, and inspiring politicians, artists, and activists to change injustices and instill pride in their culture.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of this historic event, Chicano Resource Center librarian Daniel Hernandez sat down with My Brother’s Keeper Peer Advocate Jacob Montoya to talk about the history of the Chicano Moratorium and its impact in the community still felt today.
Chicano Moratorium Booklist
Learn about the history and influential figures of the Chicano Movement.
Books for Parents and Children
A major goal of the Chicano Moratorium and the Chicano Movement was to instill pride and knowledge about the Latino community. Explore these books for children that celebrate Latino history and culture.
Films on Kanopy
Journalist Ruben Salazar was the voice of the Chicano movement. His position as a writer for the Los Angeles Times allowed him to help the mainstream culture understand the struggles that Latinos were enduring. Unfortunately, under mysterious circumstances, he was killed during the Chicano Moratorium thereby silencing the voice of the movement.
Oscar Zeta Acosta was the basis for Dr. Gonzo in Hunter S. Thompson’s book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In fact, Acosta was a very important personality in the Chicano movement. He was a radical lawyer who fought the system and was very involved in the civil rights events of the time. This film examines the life of this controversial writer, lawyer, activist, and counterculture icon.
This four-part series chronicles the Mexican American civil rights movement from 1965 to 1975. It covers the land grant movements of the 60’s, Cesar Chavez and the farm workers union, the struggle for better education, and the fight for political power. The series is unique in its depth of coverage and watching all four parts provides a thorough history of the Chicano Movement.